Emma Granger set to return for additional year of eligibility next season

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Star volleyball middle-blocker Emma Granger will return for another season of eligibility. Photo Credit: David Auth

By Austin Bechtold, Assistant Sports Editor

The 2021 rescheduled spring season has been a tough one for Robert Morris volleyball transferring from the NEC to the Horizon League and a quicker style of offense, but the Colonials (0-8, 0-8 Horizon) could be prone for a rebound 2021-22 season thanks to NCAA rulings.

Star middle blocker Emma Granger will return to Robert Morris for an additional season in the fall, using the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA through a blanket waiver due to ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Granger has been out all season for RMU after injuring her ankle in warmups prior to the Colonials’ first match hosting Oakland on Jan. 25.

“We’re not going to rush her back just to get her back this year, she’s coming back for another year,” head coach Dale Starr said. “She’s taking a COVID year and coming back next year, so we’re not going to rush her.”

Granger has become one of the best players in program history. The unanimous 2019 NEC Player of the Year holds school records for aces (174), single-match kills (26), single-match points (33), and single-season total blocks (160).

The senior from Dalton, Ohio has totaled 1,008 career kills and a .340 hitting percentage through three seasons at RMU, becoming the first member of the program named to the All-Region and All-American teams.

Starr says that Granger will return this season when ready but will not commit to an official timetable, letting the process of working back to game form continue to play out.

“As soon as we can get her going, I’d like to say next week but I think probably realistically it will be two weeks,” Starr said. “She’s back to practicing but she’s not doing anything live yet.’

Granger tied a conference record with seven NEC Player of the Week awards in 2019 while in the NEC and will look to further cement herself in the record books in the Horizon League, in reach of RMU’s all-time mark for block assists (72) and total blocks (90), supplementing her game as one of RMU Athletics most decorated athletes.